Editorial Code of Conduct

Mission, values, goals

Sky Over Ukraine site is an independent information resource, a non-profit project, created by the employees of the company and is not aimed at generating profit in any form.

Our mission is to provide reliable information and explain important events to a foreign audience. We help our readers make informed decisions. We fight Russian aggression and report on their war crimes.

Our values are honesty, trustworthiness, reputation, effectiveness, innovation, and development.

Our long-term goal is to participate in the development of an independent and democratic Ukraine after defeating Russia in the war. And also to contribute to Ukraine's entry to NATO and the European Union.

In our work, the employees of the agency strive to realize the mission and goals of the company, observing the editorial code.

All employees must carefully read and comply with the current version of the editorial code.

Editors control the compliance of materials and articles with the current version of the code.

The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for ensuring that journalists and editors follow the Code.

                Our principles, rules, and standards

1. Independence

Sky Over Ukraine is an independent media. This means that the main criterion in choosing topics is the reader's interest. Our task is to explain the readers important events in Ukraine and in the world, provide reliable, comprehensive and objective information in the most appropriate format. In our work we are guided by the standards and rules of Sky Over Ukraine and not by our personal interest, the objectives of politicians, businessmen, companies and public organizations.

  • 1.1 Editorial independence

The owner of Sky Over Ukraine maintains the principle of non-interference in editorial policy. In controversial situations the editorial board is regulated by the rules and principles of the editorial code.

  • 1.2 Sky Over Ukraine is a politically neutral media source

We do not support any political party, movement or individual politician.

No propaganda or unreasoned criticism of anyone's political, ethical, aesthetic, religious or business interests is allowed. All "sides" of the article or news should be covered with the absence of personal evaluations of the journalist.

  • 1.3 Sky Over Ukraine avoids and minimizes conflicts of interest

Journalists and editors must treat all participants in their stories with the same objectivity and impartiality. If there are circumstances that may affect a journalist's objectivity, he/she must inform his/her editor and editor-in-chief. If a conflict of interest cannot be avoided, the circumstance that may have interfered with the journalist's objectivity must be indicated in the text.

  • 1.4 Money, Corporate Gifts and Press tour

We do not accept material not written by us in any form.

Journalists and editors should never accept payments from actual or likely near-term heroes of publications-politicians, businessmen, officials, government agencies, political parties, public organizations, businesses, banks, private individuals, etc.

We do not pay sources, heroes of articles and interviews.

The journalist and editor may not accept gifts from interested persons

Travel and Presture - Materials written as a result of a presture contain appropriate information.

The journalist shall not guarantee the publication of the material, nor shall he or she promise a specific date and time for the release of content based on the results of the meeting.

  • 1.5 Advertising

No advertising, commercial or "made-to-order" materials and articles are published on our website at the moment.

  • 1.6 Claims on the quality of materials. Errors

If a reader or a group of readers reasonably expresses dissatisfaction with the quality of content, the editor or journalist (reporting and agreeing the response with the editor) must explain the position of the editorial office (using the same channel of communication, which he received the complaint). If the activity of Sky Over Ukraine caused a wide public response, the editorial board should promptly prepare a public statement explaining the position.

Complaints regarding the accuracy of the content or violation of this editorial code can be sent to: [email protected].

  • 1.7 Safety of Journalists

The life and safety of journalists is an unconditional value for Sky Over Ukraine.

While working, journalists and editors must exclude or minimize the risk of their lives and health. In case of any pressure or threats the company must protect its employees by all legal means.

2. Objectivity and credibility

We respect journalism and believe that objective journalism is in demand in society. This is reflected in our key standards: authenticity, timeliness, accuracy, and balance of thought.

  • 2.1 Credibility

This is a core editorial value and a fundamental basis of Sky Over Ukraine's reputation.

Our journalists publish only verified facts, in the authenticity of which they try to verify personally.

If the information cannot be received/confirmed from the primary source or official sources, the journalist submits the information with the reference to the media obtained from the primary source. The presence of a hyperlink to the source of information is mandatory.

  • 2.2. Accuracy

We report facts and opinions as accurately as possible without twisting their meaning and content. This is particularly true with regard to quotations, names, titles and figures.

We avoid exceptional characterizations ("unprecedented," "best," "worst," "greatest," "unique," etc.) unless supported by facts.

Journalists publish quotes without distorting the meaning and in the context in which the statement is made. If Sky Over Ukraine employees did not talk to the speaker, a direct link to the source of the statement is obligatory.

  • 2.3 Operational efficiency and exclusivity

Timeliness is important, exclusivity is very good, but credibility is the most important.

Striving for promptness and exclusivity should not lead to violation of such standards as credibility and accuracy. Credibility and accuracy take precedence over timeliness.

  • 2.4 Balance.

We give our word to all parties.

Sky Over Ukraine reflects different points of view and does not omit or manipulate facts. Exception: we do not publish statements of political forces, activists and public figures who do not recognize the sovereignty of Ukraine; politicians and public figures who disseminate dangerous ideas (contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Freedoms), as well as individuals and organizations that disseminate anti-scientific information.

We give different points of view on problematic, conflict topics in one material. If it is impossible to publish the position of one of the parties promptly, its comment is necessarily submitted later.

  • 2.5 Separating facts from commentary and value judgments

In all LIGA.net materials, facts must be clearly separated from comments and evaluations. The evaluative opinion always has an author and it is obligatory to name him or her, as well as to provide a link to the original source of the thought.

Sky Over Ukraine journalists do not give personal evaluations of facts and events in materials that do not involve the author's position - news, articles, interviews, etc. Also, journalists should avoid emotional language, unless it is a quote that conveys the emotions of the participants of the events.

  • 2.6 Impartiality regarding the accused

We honor the presumption of innocence.

This means that only a conviction by a court of law provides a basis for calling a person guilty of a crime. Using accusatory language (criminal, bribe-taker, violator, etc.) on the basis of press releases and statements by law enforcement, not court decisions, is forbidden. (Exceptions are cases where there is clear evidence of a person's involvement in a crime. For example, video footage of a terrorist act, etc.).

  • 2.7 Non-Interference with privacy

We respect the principle of privacy.

No information about a person's private life may be published without that person's consent. Exceptions are aspects of the private lives of politicians, government officials and public figures whose activities are subject to public scrutiny.

3. Working with information

We consider plagiarism and stealing information to be unacceptable.

We comply with the current legislation of Ukraine about copyright and allied rights, we respect the rights of other media and stand up for our own.

Sky Over Ukraine does not distribute information that advocates violence, incites ethnic division, calls for the violent overthrow of the constitutional order, promotes any form of racial, religious, political or other discrimination.

  • 3.1 Sources.

No information without a source.

When mentioning new or important facts, we always refer to our source or primary source of information. The exceptions are publicly known information or available statistics.

When using content from other media, Sky Over Ukraine journalists should take into account the credibility of these sources.

Information of online publications, which are not officially registered media, requires additional verification.

  • 3.2 Experts and commentators

An expert is almost never a profession, a person has a job or past experience that has made them an expert in the issue they are commenting on, and they need to tell the reader about it.

The expert must be relevant to the issue being commented on.

We avoid one-size-fits-all experts willing to comment on a very wide range of issues.

There are no unnamed experts.

It is necessary to take into account the conflict of interest of the commentator and, if possible, to avoid it.

  • 3.3 Working with Anonymous Sources

The best anonymous source is not an anonymous source.

The use of anonymous sources is acceptable when publishing information important to the market or the public, as long as the source is competent, has proven reliability in the past and insists on anonymity.

In order to publish news based on data from an anonymous source, confirmation from two other unrelated sources is required.

By not naming the interlocutor, we aim to give as detailed a description of the source as possible, which will explain to the reader how the anonymous person might know the information provided. At the same time, without revealing it.

If the news contains information from an anonymous source, especially one that is negative to anyone, it is imperative that a legitimate and/or alternative point of view be cited. If this cannot be done in the text of the news itself, the gap should be filled by forming a selection of related news items, articles, interviews, dossiers, hyperlinks containing legal and alternative opinions, versions, facts.

All information obtained by the editorial staff of Sky Over Ukraine from anonymous and non-anonymous sources via e-mail, telephone, interviews, photo and video shooting, press conferences and other events must be recorded and stored for at least three years.

  • 3.4 Information from Social Networks

Social networks are not a self-sufficient source of information.

Sky Over Ukraine journalists must verify: the authenticity of the account, the credibility of the information provided, the authenticity of photos and videos. For this purpose we try to ask the author of the report for clarification, addition and/or check the information with the help of other sources. If verification is not possible, information on blogs and social networks may be published with the approval of the supervisor or editor-in-chief. The publication of photographs and videos with obvious signs of editing, advertising and propaganda is prohibited.

If user-generated video is used, it must also be verified in the ways described above. Such content must be labeled as user-generated content.

  • 3.5 Working with sociological surveys

Sky Over Ukraine creates informational materials on the basis of opinion polls conducted by companies with impeccable reputation.

When publishing data of sociological researches (polls), a journalist must indicate the exact name of sociological service which conducted the research, client of research (if such is indicated), terms, geography and method of conducting the research, number of respondents and representation (whom these respondents represent), the exact wording of question to which respondents answered, all answer options, percentage of statistical error, if necessary - broader context which may influence the opinion of certain groups of citizens.

  • 3.6 Agreement of interviews and comments

The agreement is not a rewrite of the commentary or interview.

When requesting commentary or an interview, the Sky Over Ukraine journalist must warn the speaker for which purpose the commentary is needed and where it will subsequently be published.

Sky Over Ukraine journalists comply with the legal requirements and, at the speaker's request, coordinate the interview or quotes in the text.

  • 3.6 Eliminating Errors

We hate making mistakes, but we are quick to correct them.

Sky Over Ukraine makes every effort not to make mistakes. If this happens - we strive to correct any factual errors or inaccuracies in interpretation made by journalists as quickly as possible.

Whichever member of the editorial staff becomes aware of an error is obliged to pass it on as quickly as possible to the author of the material. The latter, in turn, inform the direct supervisor or editor-in-chief, double-check the information and correct the error (if there was one).

The news or article is updated with the editorial marker CORRECTED or FINISHED.

The corrected piece of material should be marked UPD or CORRECT and in brackets indicate what was corrected and apologize to readers.

The editorial board grants the right of reply to the offended party if the error has caused reputational or commercial damage.

The journalist does not have the right to correct errors without informing his/her immediate superior and editor-in-chief. Grammatical and technical errors are an exception.

Sky Over Ukraine does not remove editorial content. The exception is a court decision.

In the case of doubts or questions that meet the requirements stated in the rare editorial, the journalist is obliged to discuss the problem with his editor or the editor-in-chief. The editor-in-chief decides whether to proceed with the story or whether to release it.

4. Ethics and teamwork

Every employee of Sky Over Ukraine is an official representative of the company. And everything you do, even outside of working hours, can affect the company's reputation. Please do not do anything that can harm the company's reputation.

  • 4.1 Stay Journalistic. Do not confuse activism with journalism.

Sky Over Ukraine journalists and editors:

Do not use Sky Over Ukraine's website or social media accounts to spread their views.

Do not participate in any political, commercial or advertising actions while working.

Do not plagiarize, deliberately distort facts, slander or unfounded accusations.

Do not conceal publicly important information.

  • 4.2 Remain human. Empathic and decent.

Sky Over Ukraine journalists and editors respect and support each other.

We cultivate meritocracy, where remuneration and career advancement depend on success and results.

Violence in any form and discrimination on any grounds in the Sky Over Ukraine editorial staff is unacceptable.

  • 4.3 Social media and journalism

Please remember - you are Sky Over Ukraine and what you post and write on your personal social media accounts still affects the work and image of Sky Over Ukraine.

Journalists and editors are strongly advised to refrain from making unreasoned value judgments towards potential subjects of publications; Sky Over Ukraine journalists do not discuss future heroes of their colleagues' publications until the moment the material is released

All Sky Over Ukraine employees must observe civilized rules of discussion; avoid any actions and evaluations which may challenge the impartiality and objectivity of Sky Over Ukraine and the journalist.

The promotion of violence, ethnic hatred, any form of racial, religious, political or other discrimination is prohibited.

  • 4.4 Media activity

A journalist may give comments to other media only after agreement with the direct supervisor or editor-in-chief; the same applies to participation in any talk shows, TV programs, conferences, round tables, etc.

Ensure the safety of the information collected as part of the preparation of the material, in accordance with the requirements of this Code.

Not to publish their materials (news, blogs, articles, etc.) in other media (registered or not) without the approval of the senior editors or editor-in-chief. Cooperation with other media is possible only after agreement with the head and the editor-in-chief.

5. Content

  • 5.1 Who we write for

All editorial content of Sky Over Ukraine must comply with the mission of the company. To provide reliable information and explain important events to foreign audience and cover war crimes of the aggressor country - Russia. We help our readers make informed decisions.

Sky Over Ukraine has no gender priority.

  • 5.2 How we write

In all types of materials we strive for simplicity and clarity of presentation with the optimum completeness of information. This means that the reader should easily understand what is written and get answers to basic questions: who, what, when, why, what's next, what's the context for what is happening

Stylistically, there should be a minimum of introductory words - parasites.

Sentences should not be long. The dot is a journalist's friend. Complex and contracted sentences, cumbersome quotations, bureaucratic clerical vocabulary should not be abused, whatever the source or official document.

  • 5.3 Headings

The cardinal rule is that our headlines never deceive the reader. This means that the gist of the article or news story must match the headline.

We don't use clickbait words or phrases in our headlines. "Shock," "sensational," "You'll never guess...," etc.

The headline should not contain obscure acronyms. Understandable, frequently used abbreviations should not be more than one.

Little-known names should not be used, it is better to write the title

We are politically correct in our headlines (and texts). There is no discrimination on any grounds

We use in headlines:

A vivid short quote, the name of a famous politician, businessman, or celebrity is a good technique.

Generalization and moderate hyperbole are acceptable in headlines.

Two-part headlines (consisting of two parts or sentences):

Paradoxical or moderately intriguing headlines:

The SEO headline is a must in all formats. It should clearly show the essence of the content and contain as many key words as possible, by which users can search for information from the material: name, last name of the hero, company name, etc.

If we take exclusive news from an authoritative media outlet, it is advisable to put the name of the outlet in the headline.

  • 5.4 Working with photos and video

All portal news materials should be illustrated. Photos or videos must have informational value and a direct, obvious link to the content of the text. The use of compromising photos and videos with obvious signs of editing is prohibited. External photos may be used, subject to the rules of reprinting.

All photos must be signed (more details about photo signing rules in the appropriate instruction).

Not allowed

multiple use of the same photo in a short period of time (no more than once a month);

use of splash photos, explicitly staged pictures and photos from low quality photostocks;

Photos (or their fragments), republishing of which is prohibited.

Last Edition, version 1.02. Dated 06/08/2022. Editor-in-chief Denys Kolomiiets